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Definition of Fly-in[edit]

User:Psb777 changed the definition of fly-in from:

"By definition fly-ins do not include air displays or competitive flying, but are are sometimes combined with other events, such as an air show or car show, where the fly-in aircraft crews will arrive to watch the other event."


"Fly-ins are are sometimes combined with other events, such as an air show or car show, where the fly-in aircraft crews will arrive to watch the other event"

saying in his edit summary: "if that is true then many of the fly-ins given as examples in this article cannot be called fly-ins as they include what they cannot "by definition"".

I have reverted the deletion of the definition back to the original. The problem is that the new sentence proposed conflicts with the cited ref, which very clearly excludes air displays and competitions. In my research I have found that most national authorities do not define "fly-in" which is why I have used the Canadian definition, as they actually have one. In most countries by national rules a competition or airshow requires some sort of regulatory oversight or operating certificate, whereas in general fly-ins do not, making the definition cited generally the case in most countries. I would suggest that the solution to this dilemma is that if fly-ins are defined differently in different countries then the article has to say that. - Ahunt (talk) 14:31, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

The Canadian aviation authorities do not define ENGLISH. In their regulations they may define terms to suit themselves. But that does not apply to us or to WP. I know where Ahunt is coming from: Here too, in NZ, an aviation event is sometimes termed a "fly-in" to avoid the regulatory overheads of an "air display" or similar. But this is merely lawyer-ing. To avoid contradiction either the bold assertion of universal definition made by Ahunt must be removed, or the list of fly-ins must be pruned by over 3/4. Paul Beardsell (talk) 23:25, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Having read through the list of fly-ins there (and attended quite a number of them) I don't see that these fly-ins conflict with the Canadian definition. Take AirVenture or Sun 'n Fun for instance - these are fly-ins where the flying-in crews watch airshows, but the casual fly-in aircraft are not part of the airshow itself, they are there as paying attendees watching. This is entirely the same as in Canada at events like the Canadian Aviation Expo, where aircraft fly-in the crews pay to be there and watch the airshow (when they had an airshow at least) and then leave. Where is the supposed disconnect? - Ahunt (talk) 23:29, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
You want me to explain "contradiction"? If you want to define A has being those of B which do not include C and D and then list as examples of A a set of B which, most of them, do include C and/or D then that is a very good example of a contradition. If you write a contradictory article at WP expect to see it corrected. If you don't like either of my two suggested fixes, the second of which tries very hard to fit in with you, then you must fix it yourself. But the contradiction cannot be allowed to stand. Paul Beardsell (talk) 23:39, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually I didn't mention contradiction - I don't see one there. But I can see what you are getting at, obviously the term "fly-in" is used to mean different types of events in different parts of the world, so let me make a proposal in the article and see what you think. - Ahunt (talk) 00:12, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Fly-in vs airshow[edit]

I suggest either a merger of fly-in and airshow --or-- MUCH BETTER that the informal nature of fly-in be explained here, we remove the airshows from the list and that we have a "see also airshow" tag at the bottom of this article. Oshkosh is a fly-in at which continuously and under the same auspices and organisation numerous competitions and display take place. Same with Tannkosh. Same with a much tinier example, Mandeville. Now Wanaka is an airshow to which you may fly, if you like. It is not a fly-in. Paul Beardsell (talk) 23:43, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

I am not in favour of merging fly-in and airshow. There are thousands of fly-ins in North America each year that do not involve airshows - the crews just fly-in, have breakfast and go home - no flying displays, etc. While it may make more sense to remove the airshows, I am not sure how you would figure out which are airshows that allow fly-ins and which are fly-ins that feature an airshow. This article used to say that fly-ins "are are sometimes combined with other events, such as an air show or car show, where the fly-in aircraft crews will arrive to watch the other event" which is the case.
It may make more sense to make this article strictly about the informal type of fly-ins and eliminate any that have airshows, since those all have operating certificates or whatever the national oversight requirement is for airshows - they are all primarily airshows. This would include AirVenture, Sun 'n Fun, Abbotsford, Farnborough, etc.
That an event cannot be both an airshow and a fly-in is an assertion you are seeming to make BECAUSE Canadian aviation regs say so. I disagree. Oshkosh AirVenture *is* a fly-in and an airshow, whatever some Canadian regulator might like to say. [Farnborough is not a fly-in because you cannot get permission to fly in.] That there exists some workaround in Canada where two seemingly separate events are held at the same place and time to allow an airshow to take place at a fly-in is merely a consequence of regulation. It is not the truth of the matter. Paul Beardsell (talk) 07:35, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
There is another approach and that is to say that different countries accept different types of events as fly-ins and then explain the different definitions. This approach wouldn't stick the whole world with one definition that may not fit in different countries. This approach is certainly used in other articles, such as Search and Rescue.
Incidentally the various national aviation authorities do define English. For instance it is not legal in Canada to organize a flying display of aircraft in front of an invited assembly of persons and call it a "fly-in", thus avoiding getting an operating certificate for an airshow. It is the same as any definition: criminal codes define words as well, such as "theft" and "fraud", those many not be identical to the use in other countries, but they are legal definitions of those words and thus define their use. - Ahunt (talk) 23:58, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
No they do not define English. And they would be the first ones to agree with me. What they do is have a set of definitions to say what precisely *they* mean when *they* use certain English terms in their aviation regulations. When they define "night" and "day", and "commercial operations" and "hire and reward" and "visual flying conditions" and "dangerous goods" they do so for the purpose of aviation regulation, not to define English for the rest of us and not for an encyclopedic purpose. [The same is true for your criminal code example - there are plenty of legal thefts and frauds and legal does not equate with moral. In the criminal law they do not define English, even if they are most careful to define certain English terms for their own use.] So: Just because the Canadian aviation authorities have a specific definition of "fly-in" does not make an event to which pilots fly and gather a fly-in or not, it only makes it one in terms of the aviation legislation. Similarly, when I say that holding a brick at shoulder height for an hour is hard *work* it is a nonsense to come back at me and say no, no work is being done on the brick, according to Physics. As far as I am aware in NZ and in SA and in the UK there is no mention of the term "fly-in" in the aviation rules. It is a nonsense to have a sub-section of your new section in the article for each of these countries just so to say. Aircraft do not fly because of the rules but inspite of them. Pilots do not gather because of the rules but despite them and *sometimes* in defiance of them. Are you going to say that a gathering of pilots cannot be a fly-in because they have broken a rule? No. If, e.g., should the aviation rules of Mauritania say that fly-ins are limited to 25 aircraft but 27 turn up then, I ask you, is that a fly-in or not? Paul Beardsell (talk) 07:35, 25 December 2008 (UTC)


I would say that we are slowly getting there on the article. Let me make some more changes and see what you think. Now that we have broadened the article somewhat I have some more historical refs and text to add.

I do have two problems with your new definition of fly-in in the lead sentence: "A fly-in is simply a gathering of aircraft and their pilots and passengers for some or other purpose." One is that it has no reference. The main reason I tracked down the TC definition in the first place is that the article had no references - editors were just making definitions of fly-in up. I went though a lot of publications, including aeronautical dictionaries, published glossaries, the US FARs and many other publications and could not find a definition of what a fly-in is, except the TC one, which I why I incorporated it.

The main problem is that I think your definition is far too broad, By this definition an airshow would be a fly-in, the activity at an airline terminal would be a fly-in and even a war, like the Gulf War where aircraft and passengers arrived in Qatar to bomb Kuwait, would be a fly-in. In fact anytime you had two or more aircraft in the same place would be a fly-in. Under Wikipedia policy we need to have a reference for the definition of the article subject. - Ahunt (talk) 13:34, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

In doing more research and another literature check I have still not been able to find a reference for a definition of fly-in, other than the TC definition, which as you have indicated may not describe fly-ins outside Canada, although this is both the legal and generally accepted definition in this country. I think what the current lead para misses is that a fly-in is "pre-arranged". The TC definition makes this point and I believe it is valid - three aircraft just coincidently landing in sequence at an airport is not a fly-in, unless they have arranged to meet there. The other factor, as I mention above is that a fly-in cannot be any gathering of aircraft, pilots and passengers for any reason, as that would bring in pretty much all cases where aircraft are on the ground together. I think we can probably agree that what distinguishes a fly-in from a gathering of aircraft for a war or a crop spraying operation is that a fly-in is "recreational and social" in nature. I think by adding those two factors we are getting closer to what the culture would see as a fly-in. I'll incorporate those ideas and then perhaps we can see how it looks and then try to reference it somehow. - Ahunt (talk) 19:34, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, in fairness, *you* are making a lot of progress on the article and it is very much improved. Paul Beardsell (talk) 22:55, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
On the formal legal definition of "fly-in" found in Canadian aviation regs: I wonder if what happens in Canada is the same as what happens here in NZ. At a particular NZ fly-in I have in mind it can be expected that at sometime during the day four or so Tiger Moths will just happen to be in the air at the same time, and that these aircraft will appear to race around the aerodrome. Of course, this is impossible because the regs say you cannot have an organised race at relatively low level in front of members of the public unless the event is an officiously sanctioned airshow and the pilots are properly qualified and briefed. So, despite appearances, the pilots have not had their qualifications checked, there could be no formal briefing for a race (without breaking the law), and no race occurs. Nevertheless, seemingly a race occurs, who comes first is obvious. Similarly other flying displays have the illusion of taking place throughout the day. Otherwise one would have to ask, why the spectators? Paul Beardsell (talk) 22:55, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
Merry Christmas - Glad that you think additions I have made are an improvement.
Your question is a good one. The very short version is that such behaviour happens and as a result TC is pushing to require operating certificates and costly insurance for all fly-ins. This will essentially end fly-ins in this country. The response of the largest pilot organization is published in this safety publication and explains the issue in a bit more detail. - Ahunt (talk) 00:32, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Doubtless you must think I've been straying off topic. In Canada, what do you call an event where, by pre-arrangement, a number of aircraft arrive at the same airfield for some common recreational purpose, and where, as each aircraft arrives, it does a low-level high speed pass before rejoining the circuit for landing, if you do not call this event a "fly-in"? Paul Beardsell (talk) 00:23, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Let's say this was the gathering page. I grew up under a regime where what a gathering was allowed to be, was defined precisely by law. If more than one race group attended or if more than 10 people attended and politics was spoken without a permit, then it wasn't that a gathering had not occurred - the gathering was just illegal. Paul Beardsell (talk) 00:32, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Similarly, in Canada, what a fly-in is allowed to be is defined in the aviation regs. The hypothetical Canadian illegal fly-in I describe above has most definitely occurred, and it is still a fly-in. Similarly, in every(?) country of the world only airworthy aircraft piloted by license holders may attend a fly-in. If it so happens, labouring my point, that some or even all of the a/c have an expired CoA and each pilot failed their medical last decade, then it is still a fly-in. Paul Beardsell (talk) 00:32, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

So, when Transport Canada define "fly-in" they define it simply in terms of aviation regulation, they say what is illegal, they do not define English, and they do not say what a fly-in is. They say what a LEGAL fly-in is. I suggest that it is our job here to describe what a fly-in is, and we can or should note what is legal, if we like. Paul Beardsell (talk) 00:32, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Hence my small forthcoming change to the article. Paul Beardsell (talk) 00:34, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Your change looks good.
In answer to your question "In Canada, what do you call an event where, by pre-arrangement, a number of aircraft arrive at the same airfield for some common recreational purpose, and where, as each aircraft arrives, it does a low-level high speed pass before rejoining the circuit for landing, if you do not call this event a "fly-in"?" In general it is called a "bust" (see previously cited article). In a previous job I had, one of my roles was providing information and advice to people who had done just this, were violated, fined and considering an appeal. - Ahunt (talk) 01:33, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

Doesn't "fly-in" imply that planes actually are flown to the event?[edit]

It was very rare that pilots flew their planes to the early aviation meetings. The first one who ever flew to an aviation meeting was Hubert Latham, who flew from nearby Tempelhof to the Johannisthal field in Berlin on September 27th, 1909. This was the only time in 1909, all other planes were brought to the meetings by land transport. Flying to meetings got more common during the second half of 1910, but like cross-country flying in general it was was still rare.

I wonder if any event before WW1 can actually be considered a "fly-in", in the sense that at least most of the planes were flown there? Uu-flyer (talk) 18:49, 7 August 2013 (UTC)

It is certainly debatable. Really the article tries to cover all "air meets" under one banner, rather than splitting them up. - Ahunt (talk) 22:19, 7 August 2013 (UTC)
I just checked: The term "fly-in" was not used in "Flight" magazine even once during 1909-1914. The common expression during that time was "aviation meeting". I wonder when the term was first used at all? I find the term very questionable as a general catchword for air shows/displays. Uu-flyer (talk) 18:27, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
It would be helpful to find the origin of the term, probably when the early air meets were basically spit into "airshows" and "fly-ins". - Ahunt (talk) 19:06, 6 September 2016 (UTC)
The history part is a lot better now, thanks! If you are interested in the early meetings please check Uu-flyer (talk) 19:44, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
As for the most common term, I think "Aviation meet" is questionable. In Britain the term "aviation meeting" was certainly far more common than "aviation meet", 209 occurrences versus zero in the UK magazine "Flight" in 1910! In the US "Aeronautics" and "Aircraft" the situation was reversed, but less clear: 17-107 and 7-64 respectively. The word "meeting" was frequently used also in French- and German-language magazines too, but never "meet" (356-0 in "Aérophile" and 197-0 in "Flugsport" in 1910).Uu-flyer (talk) 20:16, 8 September 2016 (UTC)
I am just working from the ref cited, but if you have other refs that have other terms, then please do add them. - Ahunt (talk) 20:54, 8 September 2016 (UTC)

Other uses of the term[edit]

"Fly-in" is also used extensively in the Modern Western square dance community, and - it seems - even more particularly in the Gay square dance community, where it means a dance weekend (smaller than a full 'convention') that draws visitors from remote locations.

I don't think it's worth its own page, or a disambiguation listing, but might an "Other uses" section be worthwhile?

Jbsegal (talk) 21:33, 17 February 2016 (UTC)

I've added a hat note, will that cover it? - Ahunt (talk) 17:52, 18 February 2016 (UTC)
Perfect. I changed the pointer to Gay square dance, but yeah, that's what I was looking for. Thanks! Jbsegal (talk) 20:08, 19 February 2016 (UTC)
That's fine if that is a better target. - Ahunt (talk) 21:33, 19 February 2016 (UTC)